The World as We Know It and the World as It Is: Eye-movement Patterns Reveal Decreased Use of Prior Knowledge in Individuals With Autism

Magdalena Król , Michał Król


We used a perceptual closure task with Mooney images as stimuli to record eye‐movement patterns in response to the same degraded image before and after perceptual learning in 21 adolescents and young adults with ASD and 23 sex‐, age‐, and IQ‐matched typically developing individuals. In the control group, we observed changes in the eye‐movement patterns between the first and the last presentation of the degraded stimulus, reflecting top‐down optimization of eye‐movement patterns, that is, a decrease in the number of fixations and interfixation distance, coupled with an increase in the duration of fixations. This effect was attenuated in individuals with autism, pointing to a decreased rate of perceptual learning. We also found that participants with autism displayed decreased scanpath stability, that is, a lower recurrence of fixation locations between different presentations of the same image, which may suggests a lower rate of perceptual learning or decreased predictability in the eye‐movement patterns. These results provide evidence for decreased use of prior knowledge in perceptual decisions in autism Lay Summary: We showed autistic and typically developing participants some degraded images that were difficult to recognize for the first time, but once you knew what they represent, you could see it easily. We found that the eyemovement patterns of persons with autism did not change as much after learning what the pictures represented as in the case of typically developing participants. This means that previous experiences and knowledge change the way people with autism perceive things to a smaller extent.
Author Magdalena Król (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Magdalena Król,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
, Michał Król
Michał Król,,
Journal seriesAutism Research, ISSN , e-ISSN 1939-3806, (0 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in Englishautism spectrum disorder; eye-tracking; prior knowledge; visual perception; perceptual organization
ASJC Classification2716 Genetics(clinical); 2728 Clinical Neurology; 2800 General Neuroscience
Languageen angielski
oswiadczenie_publ_au_res_2019.pdf 285.84 KB
Kr-l_et_al-2019-Autism_Research.pdf 803.89 KB
Score (nominal)5
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 1.114
Citation count*3 (2021-03-01)
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